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FAQs on Foods/Feeding For Fry

Related Articles: Foods/Feeding of Fish Fry, Frozen Foods, Culturing Food Organisms,

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Infusoria culture    8/12/13
Hi, i have a Siamese fighter pair that might spawn and after doing some research i decided that i will feed the fry infusoria but just out of interest, can boiled rice aid in making infusoria?
<Possibly, but the tried and trusted way is to use a lettuce leaf or piece of banana peel. So go with those: at least you know it'll work and that you'll get not just a reliable culture but a safe one too -- cooked rice can very easily cultivate Bacillus cereus, a common source of food poisoning. Cheers, Neale.>

Freezing rotifers
<Continuation of 'Follow-up on Clown Spawn'.>   6/14/10

Much appreciated, but what I meant by freezing was suspending them <rotifers> for storage and using them to restart a new culture some time later. I apologize if you thought I meant freezing them for feeding to the fry. If
anyone knows how to do this, I'd greatly appreciate a poke in the right direction.
<It looks like one can do it if they desire.
I'm not sure where to get Dimethyl sulfoxide though. Rotifer cysts can be purchased quite inexpensively from a few different sources. I know Florida Aqua Farms sells them. You can also store rotifers in the refrigerator for up to a couple weeks.>
Thanks again,
<Hope this helps, Scott T.>

Re Freezing rotifers/Scott T. 6/15/10
Hi Scott,
Read your response to the subject query. Science Lab.com sells Dimethyl Sulfoxide but the cost is outrageous, 124 bucks for 500ml. I have read a few reports where people have died who have undergone organ transplants where the donor organ was preserved in Dimethyl sulfoxide. Their deaths were not related to the organ transplant itself, but to the Dimethyl sulfoxide. I'm not so sure I'd want to mess with the stuff.
James (Salty)

Frozen Rotifers as a Replacement for Live Cultures? - 09/09/06 Hello Ladies and Gents. <<Hey Amanda!>> Hope whoever gets this is having a fine day/night. <<So far so good <grin> >> It seems I have yet another question that I'm hoping someone there has an answer to. <<Let's find > For a bit of background.  I've been breeding my pair of black morph of Amphiprion ocellaris for about three years now.  I have had great success doing the age old green water rotifer culture then feeding the rotifers to my hatchlings. <<Okay>> Never really thought about how much time I put into maintaining these cultures, until my fianc?gave me a colt (as in a little baby horse). <<What?!  Another hobby/interest that's not aquatic related!!!  Just razzing you Amanda...  What you say is true...my wife tells me I spend way too much time with my reef, and not near enough doing chores/working around the house.  Hmm, maybe that's not quite the same...>> No don't get me wrong, I was tickled pink when he gave him to me, and I love him right to death, but I just don't seem to have enough time in my day anymore. <<I do understand>> (Just in case you wanted to know how my day goes) I get up at 5:30, walk the dogs, check on and generally potter about with all the fish tanks, shower, drive to work (this all happens before 7:30).  Work from 7:30 to 4 usually skipping lunch to try and get everything done so I can make it home to potter about with the green water/rotifer cultures. <<Hee-hee!>> Pick the fianc?up from work at 6 drive out to the property, feed brush and train my colt, get back home round about 8:30ish and pick up some nasty disgusting fast food on the way (I HATE FAST FOOD).  Walk the dogs, wolf down my now cold nasty disgusting fast food, and if I'm really lucky I make it to bed by 11:30.  This has been going like this for about 2 months now and I'm EXHAUSTED!! <<Mmm, I think I see the problem...you need to find a fianc?that can drive and cook!>> Just in case you thought I could sleep on the weekends, oh no, I can't. <<But of course not...>> My weekends are just as full.  So now that you know more then you ever wanted to know about my life I'll get to the question. <<Thank you for sharing <grin> >> It got to the point where I was going to stop my clownfish breeding.  I just couldn't find enough time in the day. <<Mmm, yes...decisions>> Then it hit me FROZEN ROTIFERS!!!!!! <<Indeed!  I feed these to my reef tank daily>> And I want to know if my plan might just work.  My clownfish larval tank is circular so there are no dead spots, <<Ah yes, and no sharp corners for larvae to be trapped in...smart>> I have a slow pump (fine filter mesh over the outflow so I don't lose my little fish) emptying the tank from the bottom going through all the filter media pumped up into a trickle filter resupplying the tank diagonally from the top so as to produce circular turbulent flow. <<I see>> Now if I rigged up a slow drip container with bubbler filled with frozen rotifers (that was surrounded by a sheath which could hold ice to keep the rotifers from going off) that dripped into this tank would the larval clownfish hit the rotifers or do they feed on a motion response. <<Mmm, a good point/question...but one I think you'll only answer with some experimentation>> And if they feed on a motion response would the circulation in the round tank keep them suspended for long enough and provide enough turbulence to give the rotifers a semblance of swimming to entice the larval clownfish to strike? <<Is possible.  You may also want to consider adding a bubble-wand along the bottom of one long side of the tank.  This would provide a "gentle" flow pulling water (and rotifers) off the bottom and pushing to the top where it "rolls" across and down the other side to be pulled back across the bottom and then back up again.  This is a method used on DIY "Kreisel" tanks>> Is it possible will they take the frozen rotifers so I won't have to maintain my green water and rotifer cultures anymore?  Or is it bye-bye to baby clownfish?? <<Hard to say...but worth a try I think.  The only real downside I see to this is the possible fowling of the larvae tank from an excess of frozen (dead) rotifers in the system due to the high rotifer-to-larvae ratio required for successfully raising the fry.  Maybe turning off all flow will allow the rotifers to be drawn to/collect on the filter screen for easier removal>> Thanks, Amanda <<Happy to assist.  EricR>>

Re: Frozen Rotifers as a Replacement for Live Cultures? - 09/11/06 Hey EricR, <<Hey Amanda!>> Hope you had a better/more relaxed weekend then I did. <<Mmm...cleaning 1800sqft of deck in preparation for staining...still...better than being at "work"...>> I hadn't even thought of a bubble wand.  It certainly would add that extra current to keep the rotifers suspended for longer. <<Indeed>> I'll have to work on getting it all set up this afternoon and give the frozen rotifers a try. <<Excellent...worth the time/experimentation>> I'll let you know how it goes if you want. <<Ah yes, please do...and of course will post for others' edification>> After this weekend the green water is gone.  Spent all weekend fighting a bush fire, didn't sleep much, all my rotifers died :( and I lost a new batch of clownfish :( <<My condolences>> And just to add in a bit of a rant.  People who purposely start bushfires SUCK!!!!  They need to be tied out with all the poor animals, wild and domestic, to get scared, scorched and possibly burned to death right along with them.  DON'T START FIRES. FIRES ARE BAD. <<Is sometimes hard to fathom what motivates people...>> Oh, and the Fianc?does drive, it's just at the moment neither my car nor my bike is working, so we're down to just his Ute.  As for cooking, he's done that once or twice, I very politely ate it, then ran to the bathroom gagging.  Cooking is not his strong point. <<Hee-hee!  Obviously he has other redeeming qualities <grin> >> Thank you Amanda <<I look forward to hearing about your results.  Eric Russell>>

Frequency of feeding juvenile fish 8/28/05 Hi Crew <Karen> Thanks for your efforts on this site.  It amazes me how many useful ideas and solutions to problems are here.  I hope I haven't overlooked the answer to this one, but I looked pretty closely for it in the feeding FAQs.   I have a 72Gal community reef system  with three (at the moment) nice Caulerpa growths (Halimeda, red feathery Gracilaria, and Dictyota). <Also?>   I also have some tasty-looking (to me anyway) green microalgae growing on the live rock.  I have a lawnmower Blenny (3") and a Foxface Rabbitfish (4") who I think would be healthier and happier to eat these offerings, but they seem  totally happy to eat the foods I feed (Zeo-soaked frozen Formula One or Two once a day in the morning, and occasional flakes, pellets in the evening). <Some algae is, becomes unpalatable...> Both of these fish were voracious grazers when I got them (they have been in the tank for about 3 mo.s) but the Foxface went through a scary weight loss despite grazing constantly and so I emphasized vitamin soaked food for a while, and the Blenny also switched primarily to that.  I do try to gauge the feeding amount to leave nothing uneaten, but the microalgae growth tells me I am not entirely successful in this regard. <I see> The other tank inhabitants are 3 small yellow-tail damsels (1"), 2 small cinnamon clowns (1.5"), and 3 peppermint shrimp and about a dozen hermits (plus some soft corals).  My thought is to lower my feedings (very light feedings once per day, or even cut back to every other day), to encourage the grazing by the Foxface and the Blenny, but I don't know that I can cut back on feeding these other juvenile fish that much.  The damsels seem to be able to forage (for copepods on the rocks/walls) but the clown fish are totally useless in this regard, and are dependant on what I feed them.   <Likely being tank bred/raised at play here> Finally, am I right in encouraging grazing at all, or will the fish "eat what it needs" as long as the material is available.  I am working diligently (on my feeding and filtration) to lower the microalgae growth anyway, so this isn't so much about tank aesthetics as that I feel bad that these fish seem to have lost their natural feeding tendencies. Thanks, Karen <Worth trying... I/you can gauge by the fullness of these animals... their "index of fitness"... girth, whether they are "hungry", maybe try some smaller food items that the others will ignore. Bob Fenner>

Emerald crab larvae feeding 7/25/04 Hi, excellentt web page - I read it very often... <Thanks! Good to hear!> I have noticed one of my 4 emerald crabs releasing larvae yesterday 1:00am night and I have collected some of them for further observation... I have no idea how to feed them so I would ask for your advice... Is it now more than 30 hours from the hatching moment and they are alive and kicking. <Many larval organisms feed on phytoplankton and then zooplankton (rotifers can be a fine substitute).  Many have very specific requirements.> So far I tried dropping some "Coral & Clam Diet" (semi-live phytoplankton concentrate from Mariculture.com) I gave them a little of live rotifers and some of freshly hatched artemia.  <I suspect the Rotifers and BBS are too large at this point, and there is no way to be sure that they will feed on phyto.> I do not see any feeding under my 10x magnifier glass. Looks like the algae is to small particles and rotifers are too big, - not even mentioning artemia nauplii... Any ideas how to feed them? Any hope they might benefit from the phytoplankton mixture? Any idea when to expect first molting and how many molts they go through 1st week? I looked into breeders registry but could not find any breeding reports for this crab... Do you have any experience? Greetings from very hot Chicago, Przemek <I have not heard of anyone breeding this crab.  There are manuals for breeding and rearing Lysmata shrimp, and some of the techniques may be transferable.  Keep in mind that some larval organisms live on their yolk sac and don't feed for some time.  I am sorry for not having better info, and good luck with your pursuit!  In the mean time, be grateful for the free coral food!  Best Regards.  AdamC.>

Breeding Clownfish and Obtaining Rotifers (7/22/04) Hi <Hello. Steve Allen here.> I want to breed clownfish and I need to get rotifers and I need to know where to get them. Thank you <The best way is to grow your own. I highly recommend you buy Joyce Wilkerson's "Clownfishes"--everything you need to know to breed clownfish is in there, including rotifer info. Also, do a Google search on "live rotifers"--lots of sources. Hope this helps.>

Raising marine fry? Hi, We were given your name to see if you could possibly help us out. We obtained 4 clingfish several months ago. A pair of them started spawning about a month ago, but we have been unable to successfully raise the fry. The first batch hatched in the community tank and we think that they were filtered and skimmed out. We have placed the pair in a 20 gallon, bare bottom tank with live rock and an airstone, no filtration. The SG is at 1.022 and the temperature is at 79 degrees. We do about a 2-3 gallon water change every other day. The first 2 batches hatched in this tank survived about 3-4 days. They pretty much float/somewhat-swim around all over the tank. When the lights go out, they tend to go to the bottom. We tried to feed "Marine Snow" to these ones, but they didn't seem to do anything when it was added. When they were gone, it seemed that most were in the goop on the bottom. Mom & Dad are still in the tank, but didn't seem too interested in the fry, I don't think that they are eating them. All they want to eat is squid which I feed them on a feeding stick each evening. They are laying eggs on the side of the glass approx every 3 days. They have 2 batches cooking at any time. Once one batch hatches, they lay new eggs where the old ones were. The fry seem to hatch at about 6 days, in the early evening. One of the fish is constantly with the eggs. We have now obtained rotifers to try to use to feed the fry. I tried feeding them to the last batch of fry, and they seemed to be eating them, but they still didn't make it past 4 days. Do you have any ideas for us to try? One of my concerns is the bare bottom of the tank. It seems like most of the time, it is overnight that the fry are dying. Do you think that maybe we should put something on the bottom for them to lay on? Thank you, Judy & Eric Thompson Pittsburgh, PA <I can give you a few suggestions. Rotifers and baby brine shrimp are about the only live food sources you are going to be able to obtain in Pittsburgh. You may want to read some of Martin Moe's books. "Breeding the Orchid Dottyback" was an easy read, rather short, and filled with a lot of information on rearing fish. You also should look at the Breeder's Registry for additional information, http://breeders-registry.gen.ca.us/ And lastly, since you are also in Pittsburgh, as Anthony & I are, I will forward this email off to one of the local fish breeding gurus to see if she can be of further assistance. -Steven Pro>

Re: Fry food, Mike Reed Robert - You have been very kind about all this and I feel I have made a friend. <I am indeed... by my working definition, "turning one on to the good things I've found, and away from the bad"... this is friendship to me> I will, indeed think about the distribution a bit more. I suspect, however, that I will not seek out a distributor despite the growing burden of both manufacturing and distributing the product. What I may be forced to do ultimately is to hire somebody to do the manufacturing and packaging here. <I do hope that you will be successful. I do sense that there is a growing, good-sized movement of DIY breeders in this country... and know that there are many in other countries... Many shows in Europe for instance, fresh and marine, have half their halls dedicated to the display of captive produced life (vs. wild-collected)> Thanks again for your attention to my little problems. Stay well. Mike <Will do so my friend. Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

Re: Fry food, Mike Reed >Will gladly help you. Which part of the world are you and the means of making, labeling, packaging all in? Bob Fenner<< That is very nice of you. I would not impose on you unless absolutely needed. <Okay> I am in Sutter Creek, CA. This is in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountain about 50 miles east (and a bit south) of Sacramento. <Ah, yes... a good spot for digging gold in its time.> The fry food is made on my premises: I have an office building next to my home and a large packing and manufacturing area in a very large 3-car garage (has not seen a vehicle in it for more than 5 years) under my home. <Perfect> It is not surprising that we have not met. I have ceased doing any speaking dates and stopped most industry meetings and contacts as I have grown older and wiser. <Am still hoping for wisdom with advancing age... bday in a few days so who knows?> Politics never were my strength and tended to anger and tire me. <Still there> I just turned 65 and have not got the desire to participate in that end any more. <About 49... and still rankled at times (wrinkled all the time)... but do enjoy giving pitches at the hobby venues... and attend Interzoo and Aquarama and a few regional retailer shows (not APPMA, or PIDA anymore...) to keep foot in so-called doors> Lucky for me, I serve hobbyists fairly and well and need little to keep up modest success. This new fry food, however, is becoming a phenomenon and may force me back into more active public participation. To give you just a small idea of what is going on: For several months to a year, now, some well known people have adopted the food in their work and stopped hatching bbs totally. These include Julia Mann and Discus Hans. The food was tested in Wattley's hatchery and his man Gabe has recommended the food to several people. In addition, it is finding its way overseas. I have an agent selling it in Europe, another in Australia and another just signing on to cover the entire Caribbean area. <Sounds good, great even. As Zig.Z says, "Nothing succeeds like success". Congrats> I have supporting tests (done by others) of the food versus almost all other fry foods that I know of that show it beats them all to heck. <Good pitch too> And now the food is beginning to be picked up in the scientific community. One major public aquarium has bred and raised several very difficult marine species with the food using a few tricks to get the fry to eat it more readily. A scientist doing work in a university has to raise lots of sticklebacks. He found that even with natural foods he lost a huge percentage of the fry. He went on the net and found me and tried the fry food. He now reports that, with my food, fry survival is 100%!!!!! <Okay... now, how are you going to market, distribute this wunderkind?> Maybe you can tell that I am excited about this product (as are hundreds of my customers). I like the sales, but more than that, I am giving back something to a hobby that gave me more than I can ever hope to repay over the years. <Very well understood, and agreed> Sorry to have run on like this. Stay well. And thanks again. Mike <A pleasure my friend. Will post your news on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com Bob Fenner>

Re: Fry food, Mike Reed Bob - What a treat to "meet" you after reading so much you have written. <Very surprised that our paths have not crossed before now...> Sorry to say that your e-mail befuddles me a bit. Has Susan assigned you an article on my new fry food? She has not informed me of this, though I DID suggest such an article, so pardon my confusion. <Pardon me for likely contributing to same... Sue USPO mailed your email suggesting an article... Was responding to her and you in turn> If this is the case, can you tell me a bit about what pictures you would like taken? Pictures of me mixing or bagging the food? Just pictures of me, alone? <Something "pro" your product/s and their making for sure... and a "bio" type pic of you (yes)...> Do you need to talk with me re the food? Have you looked at the info on the food (on my website at www.mreed.com )? Do you need the names of well known people using the food? <Would be better to have someone who knows more about foods/feeding/nutrition (and is known to know) in the trade or sciences... maybe Rob Toonen do this piece... FAMA (and the other zines in the interest pay so little, and am so far behind at this point it would take me more than next month to get to...> Pictures of the food being fed to discus, even some with automatic feeders? E-mails from people praising the food for fry of many species and for adults of small species? <All "to the good".> Sorry to bother you with this barrage of questions, but I am in the dark on this. Mike <No worries Mike. Will gladly help you. Which part of the world are you and the means of making, labeling, packaging all in? Bob Fenner> Subject: Fry food, Mike Reed > Suze, don't know about the food in your sent email/letter, but do know of > Mike.R, he's the real thing... formulated other popular foods for the trade, > mainly for herps... > About article: Mike, look for someone who already knows you, is near by > to take pix... of you, process... and submit to Sue.S/FAMA. If needs > spiffing, you can both/either send along to me if I can be of service/help. > Bob Fenner>

Re: Fry food, Mike Reed Just looked at your site. It is excellent. Many others do thing quite badly. Your site is professional and extensive. I must explore it sometime soon. <Thank you for this Mike> And I would be proud to see something about my product(s) on the site. I have attached something in that regard that you may not have seen before. >>About 49... and still rankled at times (wrinkled all the time)... but do enjoy giving pitches at the hobby venues... and attend Interzoo and Aquarama and a few regional retailer shows (not APPMA, or PIDA anymore...) to keep foot in so-called doors>> Well, I knew you were a veritable child (G) when I saw your picture. But at 49, behind the ears is barely dry. Wait till you are an ancient sage like I am. Then you will see the error in your busy ways. <Hope to make it that far... and realize I'm there!> Of course, I realize that you probably enjoy the heck out of all that activity. Not everybody is as hermitified as I am. Hermit or not, I hope some day we will meet. Mike <Suspect we will... btw, I'm the person who bought your products into the PetCo set in the early 90's. Bob Fenner>

Re: Fry food, Mike Reed Forgot 2 things. First of all, happy birthday!! <Thank you my friend> Second: >><Okay... now, how are you going to market, distribute this wunderkind?><< I am seeing it grow fairly quickly by word of mouth, especially on the internet forums. I would welcome some way to move things even faster, but I do not want to give up control to someone who might be asking me to lower quality to save money or somebody who wants nine tenths of the profit themselves. If you have advice re this, I would certainly welcome it. It is an area I am not totally familiar with. <Hmm, can be self-distributed... but this takes time for sure... Do you "get along" with any of the present makers/sellers of fish food lines? Pablo Tepoot/New Life, HBH/ORA for instance? I'm so lazy I would likely partner up with one of these outfits... let them do the sales, distribution... if there's margin enough.> If not, no reason to answer this. I know you are a busy guy, and I have taken much of your time already. <We all have exactly the same amount of time... am happy to share my life/time with yours. Bob Fenner> Stay well. Mike

Re: Fry food, Mike Reed <Hmm, can be self-distributed... but this takes time for sure... Do you "get along" with any of the present makers/sellers of fish food lines? Pablo Tepoot/New Life, HBH/ORA for instance? I'm so lazy I would likely partner up with one of these outfits... let them do the sales, distribution... if there's margin enough.><< I think (though there is some sign that I may be wrong) that the food is best kept very cool and dry (preferably in a freezer) to do its best. I suspect most distributors would find this a drawback right off the bat. I also think that such distributors would want me to lower the price (I get a lot per ounce right now) to the point where I would have to cut quality by dropping or substituting for some ingredients (I have to ship some stuff in from overseas. And, for example, the immunostimulant is cutting edge and costs almost $100 per ounce by the time I get it here.) Then there is the feeling out there amongst hobbyists, with good reason, that I can be trusted more than the big companies. Also, there is the special, almost exotic, feeling that many have that my hand making the stuff and selling it in a limited way makes it special and more valuable. <Hmm, you could put your name on the product... Perhaps if it has to, or should be refrigerated, a frozen food maker, or big distributor would serve? Have you chatted up this possibility with any of them? I would...> My gut tells me that if things keep accelerating the way they are, I will hear from somebody about making it for them to distribute. (This is not far fetched: One of the most famous names in the field contacted me when he heard about the food and wanted to cut a deal where he would endorse it and thereby guarantee much better sales. I did not even ask his price before declining with great politeness and respect.) If a major food company comes to me, I will be in a stronger position to protect the quality of the product. If not, I will probably just go along making and selling it through my own company and with my own people. <Myself, would only make such "deals" with express contract of supplying all the product... and control over labeling, whatever issues of concern...> Of course there is always the possibility that some company will make a similar product. But it is unlikely that it will work as well as mine. <This may happen in any case> Nevertheless, such a company could just swamp me with their money and ads. If so, I would have to live with it. Heck, people keep telling me that my product looks like and sounds like Golden Pearls. So I tell them that GP is a good product and to go ahead and save the money and use it. But I always suggest that they run side-by-side tests with split batches of fry if they want to make a truly informed decision. Those who bother to do this will buy my food. But I am going on and on re this. It is a passion for me. Mike <As it should be. Think more on this "distribution"...maybe I can help introduce you to some folks who can help. Bob Fenner>

PRODUCT REVIEW - MIKE REED'S FLAKE FOODS by Robert J. Goldstein, Ph.D.       Flakes are =lakes, right? Beginners buy whatever seems best in the pet store, with =little regard for cost. Have marine fishes? Buy marine flakes. Want color =n your fish? Buy color flakes. There's a flake for every purpose and =very fish. And not just flakes, but granules and pellets. So nobody =oes home unable to find the perfect flake, according to the label.       Those of us with fish rooms =he size of pet stores do it differently. Some of us buy commercial =rout chow (hard to beat nutritionally) or bulk generic flake foods. =f the fish eat it, what's the =ifference?       Plenty as it turns out. Flake foods have come a long way. Today, instead of grain-based foods suitable solely for mollies and other =ivebearers, high quality flake foods contain fish meal as the predominant =ngredient; that's better than most dog and cat foods. Grain flours are =ncluded, but no longer as the main ingredient. (Ingredients are listed in =heir order of percentage of total content, with the first item being the =ost abundant material in the food.) Other ingredients you are likely to see in quality foods are Spirulina algae (for color enhancing vitamin = precursors), shrimp meal (for protein, fat, fatty acids and =lavor), krill (euphausiid shrimp for long chain unsaturated fatty acids), =east (for B complex vitamins), fish oil (for vitamin A and, more =mportantly, for omega-3-long chain unsaturated fatty acids), and =BR>particular amino acids used as flavor enhancers (attractants). There are also preservatives, antioxidants and desiccants to extend shelf life.       So what makes one product =etter than another? Only your fish know for sure. In researching a =tory on discus for a trade magazine, I spoke with several =BR>expert commercial discus importers and breeders. All agreed on the need for a balanced =diet and diverse foods. And one name kept coming up again and again. =ike Reed.       Mike Reed's discus food was =o tasty to discus, according to importer Marc Weiss at Marc Weiss =ompanies in south Florida, that "wild fish jump on this food right off the =irplane." Ellen Halligan, a commercial breeder in New Jersey agreed, =nd also recommended Mike Reed's flake and frozen foods.       I called Reed in California =o get some samples, talk about his foods, and find out why he gets rave =eviews from the experts. It didn't take long to learn why this operation =s so well-regarded.       Mike used to be editor of TFH magazine back in the 60s. Prior to that he completed the pre-veterinary program at Cornell University where his interest in =ish nutrition really took off. Today he continues to write for TFH and AFM on foods and feeding of fry and adult fishes (see his article in the June =ssue of AFM).      Aquarists are unaware that =ost of the aquaculture formulations are based on what was learned at =rout hatcheries (for coldwater fishes) or catfish hatcheries =for warmwater fishes). The problem with extending that knowledge to tropical fish =BR>is that trout are insectivores while goldfish are herbivores and, while =atfish are carnivores, not all tropical aquarium fishes have the same =eeding habits. As a result, many of the commercial flakes are a =ombination of both types of food and, guess what, in tests at Sea Grant =aboratories in Hawaii, it was found that commercial trout chow beat the heck out =f the premier American flake food.       And =hy not? No food is richer in proteins, fats, and essential fatty acids =han an insectivore food.       Mike took =nother approach. Recognizing that nature's perfect food is the egg (from = chicken, fish, or reptile, it doesn't matter), he based his =BR>formulations on eggs as a major source of balanced proteins (albumin is the most =asic protein with good proportions of all the amino acids) and =at-soluble vitamins and fatty acids (in yolk). Breeders have long known that =he best conditioning food is fish roe, and years ago Jack Wattley =tartled the discus world by successfully raising the fry without =he parents using his egg-yolk based paste =echnique.       Mike has two basic formulations, aside from ingredients especially =BR>suitable to the type of fish (cichlids vs. goldfish) or based on a particular ingredient (brine shrimp or earthworms, for example). The =remi-Yum line is the simpler food. The Vita-Pro Plus has all those ingredients, =lus (most important) egg and a suite of vitamins.        Halligan and Weiss both raved about Reeds' Vita-Pro Plus angel and discus flakes. the food holds together, the fish go bonkers crashing into the food even before it hits the water, and they stay healthy and hold their color.       The ingredients, while formidable, provide clues to this food's acceptability by such fussy fish as wild discus. The major ingredients are fish meal and fish protein concentrate followed by grains, plankton, brewer's yeast (for B vitamins), and brine shrimp. it gets more interesting with fish oil and egg and egg protein. Now we're talking conditioning foods. Lecithin also is believed to assist in omega-3-fatty acid absorption. There is the usual kelp and spirulina for roughage and color enhancers, and then all kinds of vitamins and minerals. I could eat this stuff each morning instead of my silver Centrum and probably be better off.             Of course I tried several of the samples in my fish room, and all my fish went for everything I used. No surprise there, as I keep my fish constantly hungry and energized rather than fat and lazy.       His standard line is called Premi-Yum flakes, with separate packages labeled Daily, Spirulina, Colorup, Cichlid, Angel and Discus, Marine, Goldfish and Koi, Brineshrimp, Hi Vegetable, and Earthworm flakes. His super formulation comes in Staple Power, Cichlid Power, Angel & =iscus Power, and Goldfish and Koi Power flakes. Finally he offers sticks =nd pellets (Mixed Sticks, Spirulina Sticks, Brine Shrimp Sticks, cichlid Pellets, and Koi & Goldfish Pellets). All foods come in 4-,8-, and 16- ounce, and five pound sizes. The pellets come in small, medium, =arge, and extra large sizes (bb to pea-sized).       And I haven't even tried his frozen foods yet.       M. Reed Enterprises, P.O. Box 1930, Sutter Creek, CA 95685, Tel 209-267- 1175, fax =09-267-0845, e-mail mreed@mreed.com, URL www.mreed.com. Robert J. Goldstein, Ph.D.


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